Does Working Out Help Acne? Discover the Surprising Connection

Mariah Brown

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Mariah Brown

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Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people, especially women. It can be a source of frustration and embarrassment, leading many to seek out various remedies and treatments. One question that often arises is whether exercise, specifically working out, can help improve acne. In this article, we delve into the surprising connection between exercise and acne and explore how hitting the gym might actually benefit your skin.

When it comes to the relationship between working out and acne, it’s important to understand that there are multiple factors at play. While exercise alone may not be a miracle cure for acne, it can certainly contribute to overall skin health and help combat breakouts. Let’s uncover the truth behind this common query and discover the impact that working out can have on your skin.

Does Working Out Help Acne? Discover the Surprising Connection
does working out help acne

The Science Behind Exercise and Acne

It turns out that working out can actually have a positive effect on acne-prone skin. When we engage in physical activity, our bodies undergo various changes that can help improve the condition of our skin. Here’s why:

Increased Blood Circulation

When you exercise, your heart pumps more blood throughout your body, including to your skin. This increased blood circulation delivers more oxygen and vital nutrients to your skin cells, helping to nourish them and promote a healthy complexion.

Sweat It Out

Sweating during a workout session can have multiple benefits for your skin. First, sweat helps to flush out toxins from your body, including those that can contribute to acne. Additionally, sweating can help open up your pores and clear out excess oil and debris, reducing the risk of clogged pores and breakouts.

Stress Relief

Exercise is a great stress reliever, and stress is known to worsen acne. When you work out, your body releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that can help reduce stress levels. By reducing stress, exercise indirectly helps to improve the condition of your skin.

The Best Workouts for Acne-Prone Skin

While any form of exercise can potentially benefit your skin, certain workouts may be particularly effective for those with acne-prone skin. Here are some of the best workouts to consider if you’re looking to improve your complexion:

Cardiovascular Exercises

  • Engaging in cardiovascular exercises, such as running, cycling, or swimming, increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping. This can lead to improved blood circulation and overall skin health.
  • Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise most days of the week to reap the maximum benefits for your skin.

Yoga and Pilates

  • These low-impact forms of exercise focus on strength, flexibility, and relaxation. Both yoga and Pilates can help reduce stress levels, which in turn can improve the condition of your skin.
  • Additionally, yoga and Pilates often incorporate deep breathing exercises, which can help oxygenate your skin and promote a healthy glow.

Resistance Training

  • Resistance training, such as weightlifting or using resistance bands, can help build muscle and increase metabolism. This, in turn, can lead to improved skin tone and texture.
  • Be sure to clean your skin thoroughly after resistance training to remove any sweat and bacteria that may have accumulated on your skin surface.

Busting Common Myths

Now that we’ve explored how working out can help improve acne, let’s address some common myths and misconceptions:

Working Out Causes Acne

Contrary to popular belief, working out itself does not cause acne. However, certain factors related to exercise can contribute to breakouts. These include sweat, friction from exercise equipment or clothing, and not properly cleansing your skin after a workout.

Muscle Gain Leads to Acne

While it’s true that some individuals may experience acne flare-ups when they start building muscle, this is not a direct correlation. Acne is more likely to be caused by hormonal changes related to intense exercise or dietary factors.

Exercise Makes Acne Worse

Unless you’re not paying attention to proper hygiene and skincare practices, exercising should not make your acne worse. In fact, with the benefits we’ve discussed earlier, exercise is more likely to improve the condition of your skin.


Q: Can working out make my acne worse?

A: Not directly. However, if you don’t cleanse your skin properly after a workout, sweat and bacteria can build up and contribute to breakouts.

Q: How often should I work out to see improvements in my skin?

A: Consistency is key. Aim for at least 3-4 days of exercise per week to start seeing benefits for your skin.

Q: Is it okay to wear makeup while working out?

A: It’s best to avoid wearing heavy makeup during a workout, as it can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Opt for lightweight, non-comedogenic products if you feel the need for some coverage.


Working out can indeed help improve acne and promote healthier skin. By increasing blood circulation, sweating out toxins, and relieving stress, exercise plays a valuable role in maintaining a clear complexion. Remember to practice proper hygiene, cleanse your skin after workouts, and choose the right workouts for your skin type. So, lace up those sneakers, hit the gym, and start reaping the rewards for both your body and your skin!

Looking for more skincare tips and advice? Check out our other articles on achieving radiant, acne-free skin.

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